By Brandon Stewart
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) reports that its airborne laser successfully shot down its first ballistic missile last night over Ventura, California.
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The MDA’s press release explains that the airborne laser “successfully destroyed a boosting ballistic missile” and “the entire engagement occurred within two minutes of the target missile launch”.
According to Reuters, the laser system, called a “Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB)” is being developed by Boeing Corporation and the MDA and is essentially a “modified 747 jumbo jet” with a “higher-energy laser” attached to the nose of the plane.
To see the full range of the government’s Ballistic Missile Defense System, consult the MDA’s interactive graphic. For those interested in the importance of American ballistic missile defense, check out Heritage’s 33 Minutes documentary.